Thai online dating through TLL is a success and continues to grow. Not only is the fastest way to find friendship, companionship or marriage in Thailand but it is also likely to produce a healthier relationship than old fashioned ways of finding love.
Research for 2015 show that 57% of premium users on Thailand's leading dating site, ThaiLoveLines had a positive experience or successful
outcome. The popular Thai dating site has created over 100,000 relationships and friendships since it first went online nearly ten years ago. The story of
international internet dating in Thailand is a very positive making dreams come true for people in Thailand and over 195 countries or territories. It has
also produced over fairy tales involving Thai women who have found the ultimate foreign partner or one closer to home in Thailand.
The key advice to users is to use the dating site in a disciplined, extensive manner and not to sign off with the first contact or connections made. A
large research project to investigate the success of online dating conducted the University of Chicago confirms not only the success of online dating in
finding happy marriages but also specifically advises those involved in online dating to ramp up the number connections and possible partners before
securing a relationship or forming a deeper online friendship if marriage is the goal of the exercise.
Thai dating site has strong online user base
Nearly 10% of all active internet users who are women and who are aged between 25 and 54 have used ThaiLoveLines since its inception nearly ten
years ago. 'The internet is the gateway to finding love or a love connection in the modern world and ThaiLoveLines is the map for many Thai women and
foreign men,' says June Theepsawang, a marketing executive with the popular Thai dating site. What is happening on Thailand's leading dating site is
also happening in other online dating markets all over the world where more and more people are starting to have confidence on online as the lots
successful route to finding love.
Thai women finding love and dating success online
Although online dating is still a relatively new phenomenon in Thailand. the takeup of internet usage among women has surged ahead of that of Thai
men. Recent research from the UK confirms the success of online dating. In a spate of surveys it was found that one in five relationships in the United
Kingdom now comes from online dating and social networking sites. In addition to this the same research has found that nearly 50% of all UK singles
have searched for love on the internet. 'I think if you factor in the availability of the internet and development in Thailand, you will find that Thai women
who are single use the internet just as much if not more than women in the UK. For a site like ThaiLoveLInes there is more a targeted market you see
because 70% of Thai women on our Thai dating site are quite interested or open a relationship with a foreign man,' says June Theepsawang, Marketing
Manager of ThaiLoveLines in Bangkok.
ThaiLoveLines a magnet for researchers and media worldwide
In fact ThaiLoveLines has been targeted by national and international media all over the world interested in studying the phenomenon of Thai
women using the internet to find foreign partners. In addition to this, it is now quite common for postgraduate students from universities all to seek access
to records and data that ThaiLovelInes began keeping shortly after it was launched in 2007. The popular Thai dating site conducts annual surveys of
those online who have found love including follow up interviews and analysis.
Latest dating survey says age group got older in 2015
Some surprising results from the survey up to September 2015 show that the average age on the site picked up by two years following a consistent
downward trend since the site was first launched in early 2007. The number of users however finding a positive outcome ticked up two points coming in
at 57%. While the dating site has been very successful internet dating in Thailand faces some challenges and there is still a significant percentage of
users who do find love. 'Yes it is very satisfying, to see everyday stories from our users finding love and they are very happy about it you know, but there are
of course also a smaller number of stories of users who are disappointed. Our new goal is to dramatically tackle the issue because we believe that if our
dating site is used consistently and the right way, and as long as there the desire to find friendship and love, it should be possible, I say is always
possible,' says June. 'The users on our dating site are a particular type of person who have made a decision to find love and I think this is one reason
why it is successful I mean for the positive outcome rate.'
Foreigners still in search of more traditional relationships
Carla Boonkong is now a well known and renowned expert on the plight of Thai women seeking love in foreign countries and using the internet. 'I
think what we see is that in Thailand there are many women seeking to find relationships specifically with foreigners, there are many forces in Thai
society which is bringing this situation about and also many of these women are quite determined. They are often self employed and quite dynamic. In
addition, they are determined to find a partner that represents to them an advancement or what westerners call step up in the world. This is a
phenomenon that is now seen all over Asia. On the other hand we are also seeing foreign men, some who are in fact younger but most who are middle
aged, seeking a partner who will provide them with more respect or a more traditional relationship. I have studied many interviews and submission from
online users of the ThaiLoveLines website and one of the key words I see from foreign me is this word 'respect''.
International Thai dating enters a new phase in growth
The phenomenon of Thai women dating foreign men took off at the beginning of the millennium and has, in the last few years, entered a different
phase. One of the reasons for this is that Thailand is facing a demographic challenge and this has meant more opportunities in Thailand for younger
Thai women. However the numbers of Thai women seeking to find love abroad has risen in spite of this. In recent years there has also been more
sophistication in relation to foreign men using the internet to find love in Thailand.
Story of Thai bar girl and sex scene has also changed
'I think Thailand is seeing gradually the end of the bar girl phenomenon as older and younger foreigners become more aware of what is going on in
Thailand. Yes, Thailand is still a destination for sex and booze but we are gradually seeing the evolution of a more contemporary and equal relationships
between foreigners and Thai women. The cliched and stereotyped relationship still exists. There are still. I would say, hundreds of thousands of younger
and middle aged foreign men who come to Thailand to visit Pattaya and the Thai sex scene but the difference is that there are now more contemporary
and modern relationships even within that context ,' says James Morris an internet commentator and journalist based in Bangkok who writes for
Success stories of Thai women who have foreign found love online
- Thai girl finds deeper relationship with man from California, USA: Rotjana is from Chiang Mai. She spent five years on ThaiLoveLines and
now reports that she has found a 'good guy'. The 27 year old Thai woman and beauty decided to use the Thai dating website because she was
interested in meeting western men. Her reason for this: 'I could not get the good communication with the Thai guys. I dated many many guys but I
wanted more. There are many nice Thai guys and they are sometimes very romantic but the western guys offer a relationship at a deeper level so I think.
Rotjana's fiance is a forty two year old CPA from San Diego California. The couple are to be married in May in a traditional Thai Buddhist service but
Rotjana will be married officially when she moves to live with her partner in June 2016.
- Thai woman gives up secure job for new life in Australia: Aoy is from Rayong in Thailand. She loves that her partner from Sydney in Australia
was sent to her through what she calls 'fate'. 'I used this site for two months and I did meet this guy and that guy but I cannot find anything anything
serious. I then began to feel that this was not working for me. Then I went to a temple and one night after this I made up my mind to try again with a good
feeling. When I went online in two minutes he contacted me and I saw his face. We talked. After two or three nights talking like this online I had the feeling
that I could tell him everything about my life. This is why I believe that it is fate,' says Soy.; Aoy's love partner visited Thailand before Christmas in 2015 and
the couple are awaiting Aoy's visa to travel to Australia.
Although Aoy has a secure and relatively well paid job in Thailand she has no doubt that her future lies with her boyfriend James in Sydney. ' Yes we
can make a good life and my English is not so bad so we will build a new life together' Aoy's partner James has paid for her to attend a well known
English language school in Bangkok for an advanced course and she is already well into the fourth month course in written and spoken English to
improve and polish her English skills.
While many of the stories are quite dramatic and life changing, there are all sorts of relationships developed through online Thai dating. With many of
the foreigners over 45 years of age, not all are looking for a new life with a young Thai woman.
- UK widower is coming to Thailand seeking a relationship based on friendship: Sandy from Northampton in the United Kingdom is an
example. 'I had a very good time on the ThaiLoveLines dating site. I was a bit circumspect at the beginning and not quite sure what I was looking for. I
intended or had a vague idea to travel to Thailand so initially I just wanted to make some Thai friends online of the opposite sex mind. I am now friends
with about 10 different Thai ladies. One or two are a little bit younger than I am and I am looking forward to learning a little bit more about Thai culture. I
am visiting Thailand in July 20-16 for one months and who knows what will happen.' Sandy is a widower who lost his wife ten years ago and is due to
take early retirement from his job at a car factory in five years time.
Mutual attraction between Thai women and foreigners
This is a key theme of the success of online dating dating.' Carla Boonkong explains. 'What we see is that the foreigners find themselves somewhat
excluded from things going on in society there and at the same time a proportion of Thai women especially middle aged Thai women are excluded
because of Thai societal values but also now because of aspirations. So there is the key dynamic. These two groups of people seem to match quite well.
The more traditional foreigners seem very attracted to Thai women from a more patriarchal society and more so those women in Thailand who have
been divorced but also I said before women who have not married in Thailand and have higher aspirations.
Younger Thai women interested in migrating to foreign countries
I think the second thing we see is the number of younger Thai women making the conscious decision to live in a foreign country or seek a foreign
relationship Or to find a more strategic partner and again we are seeing similarly with younger western men coming to Thailand looking for something
different outside what has become accepted a politically correct in the west. What's really noticeable is that many of the younger men are from
Scandinavian countries which are thought to be the models for equality in relationships. Most of the younger men seek more modern relationships based
on equality, at least that's my experience,' says Carla Boonkong.
Thai is the secret of success for the Thai dating site
'ThaiLoveLines is a whole series of communications lines, if you will, and ways of making connections with other users be they in Thailand or around
the world,' says June Theepsawang. 'While many of our techniques are a bit of a secret, we do not claim to use sophisticated algorithms but we do use
simple ones, for instance we have a series of matching systems including our standard matching system which matches older users against new users.
We often receive complaints from some users who say that we have matched them with a person that was not on their ideal preference lists, but this is no
mistake. Although I cannot go into the details for instance in one of our settings a programmer made a mistake and set it up to match in another way that
discounted some criteria but highlighted others and we found, on the basis of a very large sample, that this arrangement was significantly more effective
at helping users to connect. Our dating site look pretty innocuous even perhaps a bit dated but what is under the cover is something that is evolving and
innovating all the time. Of course, we are concerned a lot about international dating but we also have many users in Thailand including Thai men and
women and this is a growing market for us.'
Mine of dating relationship results helps TLL to work better
June tells us that ThaiLovelInes currently has over 25,000 qualitative records on successful matches that have occurred within the the popular Thai
dating site. This is a very valuable resource and the ThaiLoveLines team have recourse to it not just in terms of marketing and research but also for
inputs into innovations in programming and new dating facilities.
'I would like to say that we are not either just a sophisticated or detailed matching service, in fact what is great about ThaiLoveLInes is that it is a
social network, a happy place where people can have a good experience and meet friends. There are many users on our website that have been there
since the site launched nine and half years ago and we are very proud of this.' The growing success of dating sites like ThaiLoveLines and dating sites
all over the world increasingly is drawing the attention of academics. Although June feels that many of these academics fail to grasp the unique dynamic
of dating and social networking sites. Especially those involved with international dating. 'One of the great pluses and one of the great joys for our users is
the cultural exchange and difference which not only adds to the whole experience but also can leads to far more successful outcomes. There are many
examples of fairytale stories on ThaiLoveLines as an international dating site which could not have occurred in a normal western online dating
Oxford professor endorses dating sites as the way to find love
According to Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Oxford university in the UK and who has written a book on online dating, the
resources being developed by dating sites offer insights that have not been possible before. Professor Dunbar highlights the significance of dating sites in
changing the way singles all over the world now find love.
Gone are the days of the third party matchmaker often an older party bringing the couple together and in has come the age of internet dating where
young and middle aged people manage the process themselves. This is also true with regard to international dating in Thailand. 'I think the days of the
dating agency or matchmaking agency where a foreigner could find a Thai bride have not finished although there are still such agencies in operation
and it must be said there are certain older people who feel more comfortable with a third party in this situation,' says Carla Boonkong.
Thai dating site turns down lucrative 'Fortune 500' matchmaking offers
June Theepsawang tells our reporter that ThaiLoveLines often receives requests from parties to act as an in between but must refuse on the basis
that such activity is prohibited under the organisation's constitution and structure. My boss had an amazing email from an attorney in the United States a
few days ago who said he represented the chief executive of a Fortune 500 company, we had to explain to him that our dating site is where users find
love for themselves and that I was precluded from assisting him. He did not seem to understand. 'This is a big deal,' he kept telling my boss and I'm sure
it was, so there is certainly a demand for such services.
Proud of TLL because it helps Thai women find love
'I am very proud of ThaiLoveLines, it allows our users to find new experiences for themselves and that is so important and beneficial to many of the
women in Thailand,' says June.
Many commentators have remarked that the new age of online internet dating reflects a lack of time that people today have for social life and
experiences. Carla Boonkong agrees with this. 'This is very true for many of the Thai women using international dating sites. A significant proportion are
self employed and these are very dynamic women. These are women in Thailand that have set out to deliberately to find an international life partner
while it is also so for many of the younger foreign men who use international dating sites such as ThaiLoveLines. However for some of the more middle
aged foreign men this is not always the case and indeed there is very much a social element involved in the online dating experience. 'In our dating
website, yes many of the users are busy and are looking for convenience but there is also the group that are just looking for a friendly social experience or
interaction,' says June Theepsawang 'The key challenge for users using international Thai dating sites is the cultural divide and that it is a leap in the
dark. Making contact with foreign women and a foreign culture. This is both a challenge and a great joy when it is overcome.'
The fairytale success of relationships on online Thai dating sites
June Theepsawang has a very positive story to tell us. One of our users was a single mom living at home in Rayong province in Thailand. She had
recently closed a shop business in Bangkok and went home to live with her mother to conserve her finances. On our TLL dating site she met a wonderful
gentlemen from the Netherlands. This man was from a high born family how you say, aristocratic. He had a large estate outside Groningen in the
Netherlands. In the space of twelve months this Thai woman's whole life was transformed. She now has beautiful home near her mother in Rayong for
holidays from the Netherlands but lives in splendour as the lady of a magnificent estate.
'I think that there are other stories like this on our dating website but it highlights the fairytale nature of international Thai dating,' says June. And the
story gets better. According to experts at the University of Chicago in the United States, marriages that begin through online dating have a far higher
chance of being more successful than relationships which are forged offline.
Marriages online are more successful - that's official
In the world of international Thai dating this comes as no surprise since it has been shown conclusively that marriages between foreigners and Thai
women have a lower divorce rate both in foreign countries and for married couples living in Thailand that have met online. Although we must note that in
recent years the divorce rate for such relationships has ticked up somewhat. However the divorce rate is under 30% of that for normal relationships in
western countries. As the phenomenon continues, we are seeing more and more long term relationships including marriage producing western Thai
communities and networks throughout the world. The research from the University of Chicago studied for marriages created through online dating
involved a very large sample of 20,000 people between 2005 and 2012.
The result of the survey was that marriages which originate online were 25% more likely to last than normal relationships. Professor John Cacioppo
was in charge of the study and attributed to the success of online dating marriages to the extent of the choice made available to those using online dating
in the first place.
US dating research confirms TLL's advice to users
June Theepsawang from ThaiLoveLines agrees. 'We keep stressing this to our users, not to come online and go offline with the first person they
meet. We keep stressing the importance of creating and making more and more connections in order to find the best possible outcome. We have said
that well over 57% of our users find a successful outcome but there is also a significant minority that do not. One of the main reasons for failure is a lack
of patience and ability to methodically use the dating site in the prescribed manner and also on a regular basis over a period of time. This of course
generates more connections and from more connections it is logical that there will be a better outcome,' she concludes.